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I will Curb Impunity on Rates’ payment in Kajiado, says Lenku

Governor Joseph Lenku has said he will not be cowed in his effort to curb impunity on rates payment by investors in the county.

Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd cargo train detained on January 12 by county government over debt of land rates amounting to Sh17 billion.

Lenku said on Tuesday he will leave no stone unturned in his quest to ensure that investors in the county pay every single penny they county in rates.

The governor was speaking ahead of a scheduled meeting between him, his ministers and top management of Tata Chemicals to find a solution to their rate arrears running into billions of shillings.

“Fighting for the rights of the county government to receive all rates and levies from investors is our responsibility. We are determined to ensure impunity on rates payment is curbed for the benefit of Kajiado residents,” said the governor.

The meeting with top global and local managers of Tata Chemicals, Magadi, was fixed by the governor personally after he was approached by mediators to give them up to January 22 so as to produce documentary evidence supporting why they were exempted former governor David Lenku’s regime from paying the amount fixed by the County Finance Act.
Tata Chemicals owes the county government more than Sh17 billion in overdue land rates stemming back to 2013.
Two weeks ago, Lenku ordered the clumping of all the Tata Chemical trains so as to force the company to pay what they owe them.
Tata Chemicals is arguing that they use a small piece of land to mine soda ash from Lake Magadi and yet they are being charged rates for 80 per cent of land used by the local community.
They also argued that they spend millions of shillings in their corporate social responsibility program to supply water, manage the largest health facility in Magadi and educate hundreds of students at various levels from the community.
But in a quick rejoinder, Lenku on his official FB page said CSR programs being offered by the company is the right of the people and Tata Chemicals Ltd should be in the know that offering such services to the people does not exempt them from paying requisite taxes.
“We have rules and regulations governing payment of taxes, and the law must be respected at all cost,’ said Lenku.

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